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Beauty And The Beast Prequel Series - What We Know So Far

Disney has made it a habit to adapt some of its most beloved animated features and turn them into live-action properties over the last few years. Audiences have responded favorably to this tactic, and now, the studio seems set on moving beyond the original movies into new stories. 

Disney has greenlit a sequel to the live-action "The Lion King" with Barry Jenkins ("Moonlight") set to direct. That's not the only extension fans can look forward to as a prequel series to "Beauty and the Beast" is in the works that will center on Gaston (Luke Evans) and LeFou (Josh Gad). Perhaps the show will allow the audience to sympathize more with the actions of characters who have only received villainous portrayals up until this point, not unlike some other recent Disney projects like "Maleficent" and "Cruella."

There are plenty of reasons to feel excited about returning to Villeneuve. Here's everything we know about the "Beauty and the Beast" prequel series so far. 

What's the release date for the Beauty and the Beast prequel series?

During Disney's Investor Day in December 2020, the company announced a slew of projects, confirming that a "Beauty and the Beast" prequel series was in development. As was the case with most of the projects, a release date didn't come with the information, but we know from an interview with composer Alan Menken that he's already written songs for the series. This same interview also revealed the title of the show.

Menken sat down with Variety to discuss his career and what the future has in store for him. He seems to be firmly within the Disney family at this point, and he also brought up the following intriguing reveal: "I'm excited about the projects I'm doing. I'm working on 'Disenchanted' and a new 'Beauty and the Beast' prequel, 'The Little Town.'" The title references "Belle's Song" in the original movie where the princess sings about being in a little town where every day is just like the last one. Collider later confirmed the series would have the truncated title: "Little Town."

Who's in the cast for the Beauty and the Beast prequel series?

As a prequel series, "Little Town" takes place before the events of "Beauty and the Beast." As such, it's unlikely Belle (Emma Watson) would have a part to play, and depending on when exactly the series takes place, Beast (Dan Stevens) could still very well remain trapped in his castle with all of his sentient furnishings. 

For the Disney+ show, the focus will be on the ordinarily antagonistic duo of Gaston and LeFou, played by Luke Evans and Josh Gad, respectively. However, they won't be alone in their new adventures. Deadline reports that Briana Middleton ("The Tender Bar") will also be in the main cast as Tilly, LeFou's stepsister. 

The project is a personal one for Josh Gad, seeing how he's also a co-creator and co-writer for the show. He's joined in those roles by Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, which is the same duo that brought "Once Upon a Time" to life. 

What's the plot for the Beauty and the Beast prequel series?

Gaston and LeFou are an unlikely team, seeing as how the former's a narcissistic former soldier. At the same time, the latter's his flamboyant sidekick, who at least has some semblance of a conscience. The prequel series should offer some insight into how the two met and why they became friends in the first place. 

Outside of that, Deadline goes on to report the actual plot of the upcoming show: "The series will follow Gaston (Evans) and LeFou (Gad) as they set off with LeFou's stepsister, Tilly (Middleton), after a surprising revelation from her past comes to light, sending the unlikely trio off on an unexpected journey filled with romance, comedy, and adventure." It sounds like the characters will have the chance to get out of their old provincial town and see what else is out there in this grand, Disney-fied world. 

The president of ABC Signature, Jonnie Davis, went on the record as saying, "There are few more precious gems in the Disney library than this iconic franchise, and this prequel is both a love letter to what's come before and its own spectacular adventure." "Little Town" marks a fascinating direction future remakes and spin-offs could take, so keep your eyes peeled for more developments on this project as they become available.